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Disability Laws, Regulations, and Guidance

OCR enforces the following laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability.

Civil Code OCR enforces HHS nondiscrimination regulations that apply to programs, services, and activities receiving Federal financial assistance from HHS.  We also enforce nondiscrimination provisions of other laws as they apply to programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance from HHS.
Note that the links on this page go to various web sites within the Federal Government.  These links may not be the official legal edition of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) or United States Code (USC). To learn more about CFRs and USCs, please visit the Government Printing Office at www.GPO.gov

Regulations Enforced by OCR

  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973, as amended, (29 U.S.C. 794) prohibits discrimination against otherwise qualified individuals on the basis of disability:

  • Section 542 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 290dd-1) bars discrimination in admission or treatment against substance abusers suffering from medical conditions by Federally-assisted hospitals and outpatient facilities.  45 C.F.R. Section 84.53

  • Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12131 et. seq.).  OCR is the "designated agency" to investigate complaints of discrimination on the basis of disability by state and local government health and social service agencies. 28 C.F.R. Part 35

  • Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, (29 U.S.C. Section 794) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in electronic and information technology as they relate to programs and activities conducted by HHS.  See the Accessibility Board 508 Homepage for more information.

  • Sections 794 and 855 of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. 295m and 296g, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (gender) in Federally-Assisted Health Training Programs.

  • Section 508 of the Social Security Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, disability, sex (gender), or religion in the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant. 

  • Section 533 of the Public Health Service Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, disability, sex (gender), or religion in Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness. 

  • Section 1908 of the Public Health Service Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, disability, sex (gender), or religion in programs, services, and activities funded by Preventative Health and Health Services Block Grants. 

  • Section 1947 of the Public Health Service Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, disability, sex (gender), or religion in programs and activities funded by Community Mental Health Services Block Grant and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grants. 

  • The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, disability, sex (gender), or religion in programs and activities funded under this Act. 

  • The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance act of 1981 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or sex (gender) in programs and activities funded under this Act. 

  • The Community Services Block Grant Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or sex (gender) in programs and activities funded under this Act.